[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nipple sparing mastectomy (NSM) has become an accepted approach in selected cases of breast cancer and prophylactic mastectomy. Various surgical techniques have been described and nipple ischemia has been a common complication. Potential risk factors for nipple ischemia after NSM are examined. To examine predisposing factors for nipple ischemia after NSM. Prospective evaluation of 71 consecutive NSM in 45 patients from 2009 to 2011 was performed. There were 40 mastectomies for cancer (56.3%), and 31 (43.7%) prophylactic mastectomies. In cases of cancer, the ducts were excised from the undersurface of the nipple. Reconstructive methods included: expander 58, latissimus flap/expander 2, implant 10, and free TRAM flap 1. Various patient and technical factors were examined for impact on nipple ischemia. Partial nipple necrosis occurred in 20 cases (28.2%). Nineteen cases healed uneventfully and one required secondary nipple reconstruction. Operations for cancer (OR 10.54, CI 1.88-59.04, p = 0.007) and periareolar incisions (OR 9.69, CI 1.57-59.77, p = 0.014) predisposed to nipple ischemia. Periareolar incisions and dissection of the nipple ducts for cancer have a higher risk of nipple necrosis after NSM.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Nipple reconstruction is often used as a marker for completion of the breast reconstructive process. The purpose of this study was to determine the average time to nipple reconstruction and the factors that influence this process. METHODS: All patients who underwent postmastectomy breast reconstruction at Emory University between 2005 and 2011 were reviewed. Only those who had completed nipple reconstruction were included. Variables recorded were body mass index, age, smoking history, surgeon, presence of preoperative or postoperative chemotherapy or radiation therapy, type of reconstruction, timing of reconstruction, unilateral or bilateral reconstruction, and complication history. Time to completion of nipple reconstruction was calculated and comparisons were made. RESULTS: A total of 451 patients completed nipple reconstruction (128 implant reconstructions, 120 latissimus plus implant reconstructions, 23 latissimus only reconstructions, and 180 transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous flap [TRAM] or deep inferior epigastric perforator flap [DIEP] reconstructions). Average time to nipple reconstruction was 12.25 months. Patients who underwent TRAM or DIEP flaps completed reconstruction on average earlier than implant-based reconstruction and latissimus-only reconstruction (8.67 vs 11.2 and 11.3 months, respectively, P = 0.0016). Patients who underwent postoperative chemotherapy or radiation therapy were delayed compared to those that did not (11.3 vs 9.33 and 13.87 vs 9.87 months, P = 0.0315 and P = 0.0052). Timing of completion was also dependent on attending surgeon (9.8 and 11.43 months for the 2 senior surgeons, P = 0.0135) and presence of complications (10.3 compared to 9.77 months for patients without complications, P = 0.0334). Body mass index, smoking history, preoperative chemotherapy or radiation therapy, timing of reconstruction, and unilateral versus bilateral reconstruction did not affect time to nipple reconstruction. CONCLUSIONS: Type of reconstruction, surgeon, presence of complications, and need for postoperative chemotherapy or radiation therapy all affect timing to completion of breast reconstruction. Patients should be counseled as to these factors at the initial consultation to set appropriate expectations.
Annals of plastic surgery 03/2013; · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Postmastectomy breast reconstruction is offered to women with breast cancer regardless of body habitus and breast size. The decision regarding technique for breast reconstruction includes patient preference, risk factors, and physical characteristics. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between preoperative breast size and choice of reconstruction, choice of contralateral breast symmetry procedure, and incidence of complications. METHODS: A retrospective review of 355 patients who underwent unilateral breast reconstruction at Emory University from 2005 to 2009 was performed. Patients were stratified into 3 groups based on mastectomy specimen weight with small breasts defined as less than 500 g, medium breasts as 500 to 1000 g, and large breasts as more than 1000 g. Patient demographics were queried including age and risk factors. Additional data points included type of reconstruction, contralateral procedure, and complications. RESULTS: There were 144 patients with small breasts (40.5%), 150 with medium breasts (42.1%), and 62 with large breasts (17.4%). Women with small breasts were equally likely to undergo tissue expander (34%), latissimus dorsi flap (32%), or TRAM/DIEP flap (34%) reconstruction. Women with medium breasts were most likely to undergo TRAM/DIEP reconstruction (47%), whereas women with large breasts were most likely to undergo latissimus dorsi reconstruction (37%; P = 0.134). Small-breasted women were more likely to undergo contralateral augmentation (P < 0.0001), which varied based on the type of reconstruction. Women with medium-sized breasts were more likely to undergo mastopexy (P = 0.033), and large-breasted women were more likely to undergo reduction (P < 0.0001). Women with complications had a greater mean mastectomy weight than women without complications (744 g compared with 620 g, P = 0.0062), and there was an increasing incidence of postoperative wound infections with increasing breast size (18% of large breasts, 7% of medium breasts, and 3% of small breasts; P = 0.0003). CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative breast size does play a role when choosing the most appropriate reconstructive option and symmetry procedure. Being able to adjust the contralateral breast, however, brings the extremes of breast size toward the middle, making most options available regardless of initial size and shape. There are noticeable trends in technique and outcome when stratified by breast size.
Annals of plastic surgery 03/2013; · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: : The latissimus dorsi flap (LDF) remains a widely used technique for postmastectomy autologous tissue breast reconstruction. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of body mass index (BMI) on flap and donor-site complications in patients undergoing LDF reconstruction. METHODS: All patients at Emory University Hospital between 2005 and 2010 who underwent an LDF for breast reconstruction were included. Demographics were queried, and patients were stratified into 3 groups according to BMI: normal weight (NL; BMI, <25 kg/m), overweight (OW; BMI, 25-29.9 kg/m), and obese (OB; BMI, ≥30 kg/m). Flap and donor-site complications were compared among the groups. RESULTS: There were 277 patients included in the review: NL (n = 102), OW (n = 72), and OB (n = 103). Overall postoperative complication rates for flaps and donor sites were 33.5% and 22.3%, respectively. The incidence of donor-site complications was similar among BMI groups (22.5% vs 19.4% vs 24.2% for NL, OW, and OB groups, respectively). Flap-related complications occurred in 28.4% (NL), 33.3% (OW), and 38.8% (OB). When stratified by type of complication, no statistically significant difference was found in the incidence of seromas and tissue necrosis at the LDF site. Obese patients were more likely to develop mastectomy skin flaps necrosis (21.3%) compared to the NL group (9.8%, P = 0.042) and less likely to have capsular contracture and hematomas (P = 0.009 and 0.023, respectively). No difference was observed in the incidence of seroma, hematomas, infection, and skin necrosis of the donor site among BMI groups. Patients reconstructed with an LDF and tissue expander tended to have more flap-related complications compared to LDF alone (36.1% vs 25.3%, P = 0.11). CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of both flap and donor-site complications after LDF was not significantly different in overweight and obese patients compared to the normal weight population. The use of LDFs in overweight and obese patients results in an acceptable incidence of postoperative complications and can be safely used in this category of patients.
Annals of plastic surgery 03/2013; · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: The number of women who undergo postmastectomy breast reconstruction is reported to be around 40% and, although increased from previous decades, seems lower than expected. The purpose of this report is to investigate and improve our understanding of women's motivations for choosing reconstruction. METHODS: We prospectively surveyed consecutive patients referred for possible reconstructive surgery at Emory University Hospital between December 2008 and September 2010. A Likert-scale (1-5) questionnaire was used evaluating body image, femininity and sexuality, and influences regarding reconstruction. Demographic information was collected and analyzed. A PubMed search was also performed evaluating national rates of reconstruction, the demographic disparities, and the decision-making process behind undergoing reconstruction. RESULTS: Among the 155 women surveyed, most (63%, n = 99) were 40 to 60 years old, 54.8% (n = 85) were African American, and 41.3% (n = 64) were white. Overall, patients agreed more strongly with questions related to body image as a motivating factor for breast reconstruction than they did with questions related to sexuality or femininity (mean score, 2.85 vs 3.26). When asked about their primary motivation for breast reconstruction, 76% of women agreed it was to maintain a balanced appearance, 34% agreed it was to continue to feel feminine, and 7.7% agreed it was to maintain sexual functioning. When asked about outside influences in pursuing breast reconstruction, the 51.6% of patients reported that they were urged by their referring physician to consider it, and most of the patients (58%) discussed the surgery with other breast cancer patients considering breast reconstruction. CONCLUSIONS: Women pursuing breast reconstruction are motivated more by concerns of body image than issues of sexuality or femininity, which is independent of any demographic characteristics. It is important for referring physicians to recognize their role in initiating the discussion on reconstruction, and women would benefit from being referred to support groups to discuss their treatment and reconstruction with other breast cancer patients.
Annals of plastic surgery 03/2013; · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: When immediate reconstruction is applied to breast conservation therapy (BCT), the benefits extend well beyond the minimization of poor cosmetic results. The purpose of this analysis was to compare literature outcomes between BCT alone and BCT with the oncoplastic approach. METHODS: A meta-analysis was performed in PubMed using key words "oncoplastic," "partial breast reconstruction," and "breast conservation therapy." Case reports, series with less than 10 patients, and those with less than 1-year follow-up were excluded from the analysis. The 3 comparative groups included BCT with oncoplastic reduction techniques (Group A), BCT with oncoplastic flap techniques (Group B), and BCT alone (Group C). RESULTS: Comparisons were made on 3165 patients in the BCT with oncoplastic group (Groups A and B, 41 papers) and 5494 patients in the BCT alone group (Group C, 20 papers). Demographics were similar, and tumor size was larger in the oncoplastic group (2.7 vs 1.2 cm). The weight of the lumpectomy specimen was 4 times larger in the oncoplastic group. The positive margin rate was significantly lower in the oncoplastic group (12% vs 21%, P < 0.0001). Reexcision was more common in the BCT alone group (14.6% vs 4%, P < 0.0001), however, completion mastectomy was more common in the oncoplastic group (6.5% vs 3.79%, P < 0.0001). The average follow-up was longer in the BCT alone group (64 vs 37 months). Local recurrence was 4% in the oncoplastic group and 7% in the BCT alone group. Satisfaction with the aesthetic outcome was significantly higher in the oncoplastic group (89.5% vs 82.9%, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The oncoplastic approach to BCT allows a generous resection with subsequent reduction in positive margins. The true value on local recurrence remains to be determined. Patients are more satisfied with outcomes when the oncoplastic approach is used.
Annals of plastic surgery 03/2013; · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:: Brain metastases (BM) cause significant morbidity and mortality in patients with melanoma. We aimed to identify prognostic factors for overall survival (OS) in patients undergoing stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for BM from melanoma. METHODS:: We identified 135 patients treated with SRS at Emory University between 1998 and 2010 for BM from melanoma. We recorded patient age, number and size of all BM, Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), presence of extracranial metastases, serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), use of whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT), use of temozolomide, and surgical resection of BM. We used the Kaplan-Meier method to calculate OS, and we compared time-to-event data with the log-rank test. We performed Cox multivariate analysis to identify factors independently associated with OS. RESULTS:: Median OS for all patients was 6.9 months. Patients with KPS≥90, 70 to 80, and <70 had median OS of 10.4, 6.1, and 4.5 months, respectively (P=0.02). Patients with LDH<240 had median OS of 7.8 months versus 3.5 months for LDH≥240 (P=0.01). Patients receiving WBRT had median OS of 7.3 months versus 6.5 months for patients not receiving WBRT (P=0.05). KPS and LDH (but not WBRT) were significantly associated with OS on multivariate analysis. CONCLUSIONS:: In addition to previously identified prognostic factors for OS in patients with BM from melanoma, serum LDH is independently associated with OS. If this finding is confirmed in a prospective manner, the serum LDH level should be included in future prognostic algorithms for patients with melanoma and BM who are to receive SRS.
American journal of clinical oncology 02/2013; · 2.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: NCCN guidelines recommend 1 or 2 cm margins for melanomas 1-2 mm (T2 melanomas) in depth; however, no head-to-head comparison has been performed. We hypothesized 1- or 2-cm margins would have similar local recurrence (LR) and overall survival (OS). METHODS: An institutional database was queried for patients with 1.0-2.0 mm melanomas treated from July 1995 to January 2011. All had wide excision and sentinel lymph node biopsy. Patients without documented surgical margins or follow-up were excluded. Clinicopathologic and recurrence data were reviewed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. RESULTS: Of 2,118 patients, 1,225 met study criteria. Of these, 576 had complete data: 224 (38.9 %) had 1 cm margins and 352 (61.1 %), 2 cm margins. Median follow-up was 38 months. Mean age was 52.6 years (range 11.3-86.7). Mean thickness was 1.27 and 1.48 mm (1 and 2 cm, respectively, p < 0.001) with ulceration more common in the 2 cm group (12.3 and 21.3 %, respectively; p = 0.009). LR was 3.6 and 0.9 % in the 1 cm versus 2 cm group, respectively (p = 0.044). OS was 29.1 months with 1 cm and 43.7 months in the 2 cm group. On multivariate analysis, only head and neck location and nodal status were associated with overall survival. CONCLUSIONS: In this series, 1 cm margins were associated with a small increase in LR that did not impact OS. This is concordant with the NCCN recommendations; however, a prospective, randomized trial would be optimal.
Annals of Surgical Oncology 08/2012; · 4.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) is increasingly used to improve the results of immediate breast reconstruction. Technical aspects and aesthetic outcomes of this procedure are examined.
A study of a prospective institutional database of all cases of NSM between 2009 and 2010 was performed. Aesthetic outcomes (symmetry, inframammary fold, volume, contour, and nipple) are compared with patients undergoing skin-sparing mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction by grading postoperative photographs. Technical refinements in incision types and nipple positioning are described.
Twenty-six patients underwent 40 NSMs during the study period. Partial nipple necrosis occurred in 15 breasts (37.5%); of them, 14 healed uneventfully with local wound care, and 1 patient required delayed nipple reconstruction. Nipple necrosis by incision type was radial/circumareolar in 6 of 8 (75%) patients; radial, 3 of 9 (33.3%); inframammary fold, 6 of 22 (27.3%); and vertical, 0 of 1 (0%). The nipple aesthetic outcome was significantly better for NSM compared with nipple reconstruction after skin-sparing mastectomy (P = 0.01).
The incidence of partial nipple necrosis was high and was related to circumareolar incisions. Most cases of nipple necrosis are superficial and heal uneventfully. Preservation of the nipple improves the aesthetic outcome of immediate breast reconstruction.
Annals of plastic surgery 05/2012; 68(5):446-50. · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Women who had undergone previous breast augmentation represent a unique subset of patients presenting for breast reconstruction. Much of the literature on breast augmentation and breast cancer has focused on cancer detection, prognosis, and recurrence. There is a paucity of data describing this patient population from a breast reconstruction standpoint.
A review of a prospective institutional database of all patients who had previous breast augmentation undergoing immediate breast reconstruction (IBR) from 1996 to 2010 was performed. Patient demographics, operative techniques, reconstructive methods, and breast cancer data were collected. Data were compared with a control group of 591 patients without previous augmentation undergoing IBR from 2005 to 2009.
Thirty-five patients treated by total mastectomy and IBR who had previous breast augmentation were identified. The median patient age was 51 (range, 32-80) years in the augmented group versus 50.1 (range, 24-84) years in the control group. The mean body mass indices of the augmented and the control groups were 24.1 and 27.5, respectively (P < 0.05). Implant-based reconstruction was performed in 94.3% the augmented group versus 62.4% in the control group (P < 0.01). Stage 0 and I breast cancer occurred in 57.6% of patients in the augmented group and 46.6% of patients in control group (P < 0.05).
Patients with previous augmentation mammoplasty are more likely to undergo implant-based reconstruction compared with nonaugmented women. The presence of implants does not delay the detection of breast cancer when compared with a control group of patients who do not have breast implants.
Annals of plastic surgery 04/2012; 68(5):477-80. · 1.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The locoregional recurrence (LRR) rate after mastectomy is reported to be similar with immediate reconstruction. We aimed to identify characteristics of LRR after transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) reconstruction.
We retrospectively reviewed patients undergoing immediate TRAM reconstruction for breast cancer who were diagnosed with LRR.
We identified 18 LRR (4.6 %) in 18 of 390 patients who underwent immediate TRAM reconstructions for breast cancer from 1998 to 2008. The median follow-up was 69.2 months. The mean age at time of mastectomy was 49.5 years. All LRR were detected by physical examination. The LRR occurred in the TRAM subcutaneous tissue (n = 9), five in the ipsilateral axillary lymph node and four in the supraclavicular lymph node. Of the 18 patients who developed LRR, 14 (77.7 %) presented with stage 0-1-2 and 4 (22.2 %) with stage 3 disease at the time of the original mastectomy. The average time for a LRR to present was 35.8 months after initial mastectomy and reconstruction. For patients who initially presented with stage 3 disease, the average time to LRR was shorter (22.9 months). Nine patients (50.0 %) were found to have metastatic disease at the time of the LRR, and 6 (33.3 %) died of disease.
All TRAM LRR were detected by routine physical examination by the patient or the surgeon. Our findings suggest that routine history and clinical breast examination of the breast reconstructed with a TRAM flap along with patient self-awareness are reliable in the diagnosis of LRR.
Annals of Surgical Oncology 04/2012; 19(8):2679-84. · 4.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is an ongoing debate about the reliability of various lower abdominal flaps for breast reconstruction. The authors evaluate in vivo perfusion of these flaps to objectively determine which techniques and which skin island zones had better perfusion.
A prospective study was performed on 77 single-pedicle breast reconstructions [pedicled transverse rectus abdominis muscle (TRAM), n = 22; muscle-sparing free TRAM, n = 37; deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP), n = 18]. Perfusion was measured intraoperatively using indocyanine green angiography following flap harvest and before transfer. Flow quantification was performed at 12 standardized data points in each of the four zones of the skin island. Patient risk factors for flap ischemia were assessed, perfusion was quantified, and comparisons were made between the various flaps and between zones.
Mean perfusion was significantly higher in the 37 free muscle-sparing flaps (24.9) and the 18 DIEP flaps (21.8) when compared with the 22 pedicled TRAM flaps (19.6) (p < 0.001). Zones I and IV had significantly higher and lower perfusion, respectively (28.4 versus 13.9), when compared with the other zones. There was no significant difference in perfusion between zones II and III (20.6 versus 21.6). Differences in flap flow were significant (p < 0.001) independent of zonal differences.
The authors demonstrated objectively that lower abdominal free flaps based on the inferior epigastric system have better perfusion when compared with pedicled TRAM flaps. There is no appreciable difference in perfusion between zones II and III; however, it is likely related to the perforator location and dominance. Clinical correlation between these absolute perfusion values and flap viability is required.
Plastic and reconstructive surgery 04/2012; 129(4):618e-24e. · 2.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Advanced age is associated with a poorer prognosis in patients with melanoma. Despite this established finding, a decreased incidence of positive sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) with advancing age has paradoxically been described. Methods. Using a single-institution database of melanoma patients between 1994 and 2009, the relationship between standard clinicopathologic variables and recurrence based on age was evaluated. Results. 1244 patients who underwent successful SLN biopsies were analyzed (mean followup 80.3 months). Increasing age was independently associated with worse survival on multivariable analysis (P = 0.02). SLN status was more likely to be negative if the patient was older (P = 0.01). Conclusions. Our data supports the paradox that increasing age is associated with a lower frequency of positive-SLN biopsies despite age itself being a poor prognostic factor. We propose that age-dependent variations in the primary tumor and the patient may predispose to a hematogenous route of spread for the older population, leading to worse survival.
International journal of surgical oncology. 01/2012; 2012:456987.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The safety and efficacy of skin-sparing mastectomy (SSM) with immediate reconstruction (IR) in patients with locally advanced breast cancer are unclear. The purpose of this study is to compare the outcomes of women with noninflammatory Stage III SSM with IR vs. non-SSM-treated women who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy and adjuvant radiation therapy (XRT).
Between October 1997 and March 2010, 100 consecutive patients (40 SSM with IR vs. 60 non-SSM) with Stage III breast cancer received anthracycline- and/or taxane-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy, mastectomy, and adjuvant XRT. Clinical stage (SSM with IR vs. for non-SSM) was IIIA (75% vs. 67%), IIIB (8% vs. 18%), and IIIC (8% vs. 8%). Tumors greater than 5 cm were found in 74% vs. 69%; 97% of patients in both groups were clinically node positive; and 8% vs. 18% had T4b disease.
The time from initial biopsy to XRT was prolonged for SSM-IR patients (274 vs. 254 days, p = 0.04), and there was a trend toward XRT delay of more than 8 weeks (52% vs. 31%, p = 0.07) after surgery. The rate of complications requiring surgical intervention was higher in the SSM-IR group (37.5% vs. 5%, p < 0.001). The 2-year actuarial locoregional control, breast cancer-specific survival, and overall survival rates for SSM with IR vs. non-SSM were 94.7% vs. 97.4%, 91.5% vs. 86.3%, and 87.4% vs. 84.8%, respectively (p = not significant).
In our small study with limited follow-up, SSM with IR prolonged overall cancer treatment time and trended toward delaying XRT but did not impair oncologic outcomes. Complication rates were significantly higher in this group. Longer follow-up is needed.
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 12/2011; 82(4):e587-93. · 4.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The increased use of radiation in the primary management of laryngeal carcinoma has resulted in an increase in pharyngocutaneous fistula (PCF) formation after salvage laryngectomy. The impact of this practice on surgical management strategies has been analyzed.
A retrospective review of 177 patients treated by total laryngectomy for laryngeal or hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma was performed. PCF formation was documented and management strategies were analyzed.
Preoperative radiation therapy (XRT) was administered to 86 patients (48.6%). Postoperative PCF developed in 47 patients (26.5%), including 30 (34.9%) who had received preoperative XRT versus 17 (18.6%) who had not received XRT (P = 0.015). Spontaneous PCF closure occurred in 23 patients (48.9%). Two patients died with persistent, untreated PCF. Surgical closure of PCF was performed in 22 patients (46.8%), including 17 who had received preoperative radiation (77.3%). Reconstructive methods included 9 local flaps, 17 pectoralis major (PM) flaps, and 2 free jejunal flaps. Seven of the 9 (77.8%) patients treated with local flaps had received XRT. Three patients had successful fistula closure including 2 who had not received radiation. Six of 9 patients (66.7%) developed recurrent fistulization after local flap closure necessitating PM flap closure. Overall, 14 patients (82.4%) had received preoperative XRT prior to PM flap closure. Six patients (35.3%) who had received XRT developed recurrent fistulization and 5 of these fistulas eventually closed with local wound care. The remaining patient succumbed to a carotid artery rupture. Two patients required a completion pharyngectomy and free jejunal flap reconstruction. PM flaps were used in both cases to provide soft-tissue coverage.
Preoperative XRT increases the risk of PCF after laryngectomy and the need for surgical closure. Local flap closure has a limited role in the surgical management of PCF. PM flap reconstruction has a high complication rate including recurrent fistulization in the setting of preoperative radiation.
Annals of plastic surgery 07/2011; 68(5):442-5. · 1.29 Impact Factor